Several years ago the state government bought back the two gill net fishing licenses that were operating in Roebuck Bay. The licenses extended from 80 mile beach to Roebuck Bay and focused mainly on Threadfin and Blue Nose Salmon and to a lesser extent Barramundi. Threadfin (locally known as "threadies" or "freddies") have a special significance to locals in Broome. The fishery had been coming under increasing stress with a growing population and increased visitation to the area as well as the impact from the commercial fishery. Once plentiful around Broome, threadies were getting harder to pick up and their season was getting smaller.
Fast track several years past the removal of the professional licenses and threadies are once again plentiful in Broome waters and are a year round staple. One evening early in March this year, as I was putting the dog on the lead for our nightly walk to Cable Beach, I thought I'd grab my flick rod and a little bit of bait from the fridge. So set with the dog, the rod, a couple of bits of old squid, I set off through Janaburu into Minyirr Park, over the sand dunes and on to Cable Beach about 2km north of Gantheaume Point. The dog was happy running and exploring all the knew scents since the night before. I waded out knee deep into the low spring tide and flicked a bit of squid on a number 5 suicide hook about 25 metres in front of me. It was one of those balmy Cable Beach nights. The sun was just setting, the reds in the sunset were developing as if a photo in a dark room. I didn't have to wait long before I had a run, I always fish for salmon with a free spool. I like to let the salmon run several metres before I set the hook. This thready didn't disappoint. It was a good strong run against which I could engage the reel and and pull back on the rod. For the first 20 metre the fish didn't show much resistance, however once it hit the shallows that compliance was over and the fun kicked in. He had a couple of big runs back out to deeper water, but eventually capitulated to my reasoning.
After 5 minutes standing in ankle deep water enjoying the gentle breeze and watching the colours of the sunset deepen my meditative state was interrupted by a nice sized fat Blue Nose Salmon. It was big enough to provide 2 good fillets for dinner that night and left-overs for my lunch the next day. My only disappointment was that no one was walking past at that moment to marvel at my skill. So it was back home through the unusually high spear grass of Minyirr Park thanks to this year's cracker wet season, across Gubinge road and down a few streets back to home.
One hour after I left for my nightly walk to Cable Beach I was sitting at home having a meal of the freshest Threadfin Salmon in Broome.